Black History Month culminates in student performances at Read-In Feb. 22

African American Read-In Set for Feb. 22
  • SPS students from Central and Parkview high schools, as well as Reed Academy, will perform at the 2018 Springfield African American Read-In Thursday, Feb. 22, at the Springfield Art Museum. The interactive event from 7 to 8:30 p.m. invites students and the community to celebrate the history and work of African American authors.

    “It makes a tremendous difference when our students are exposed to black writers and artists,” said Gwen Marshall, equity and access specialist. “It gives our students an opportunity to see and hear the work of so many African American authors who have come before them. That helps our students know that they can write and be successful, too.”

    This year, select students across SPS were invited to participate in an African American Read-In Poetry Writer’s Workshop at Drury University, where they composed original works to be recited at the Read-In. Students from Central and Parkview high, as well as Reed Academy and Willard Public Schools will read their own poetry, with winners announced at the event. The Reed Academy Choir and Springfield Community Youth Choir will also perform.

    SPS is sponsoring the Read-In as one districtwide effort to recognize Black History Month. Other efforts include:

    • In middle schools, highlighting African American men who had significant contributions in our society in Empowerment clubs designed for boys
    • African American girls from Westport K-8 School attended the African American Heritage Springfield Symphony performance at Juanita K. Hammons Hall
    • Books written by African American authors read to students in elementary schools

    In its ninth year, the Springfield Read-In is part of a national movement started in 1990 to shine a spotlight on African American authors to promote diversity in children’s literature, as well as encouraging young children of color to read. Springfield Public Schools is sponsoring the event, in partnership with the NAACP, Missouri State University, Drury University, the Springfield-Greene County Library and Commerce Bank.